An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System unit reached 70,000 flight hours in support of operations in US Central Command’s area of responsibility, including Afghanistan and Iraq, since 9/11. The 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron, flying from an undisclosed air base in Southwest Asia, reached the milestone on Sept. 25. “To put it into perspective, the unit has flown an average of 19 hours each day since Sept. 11, 2001, or the equivalent of being airborne for eight years,” states a release from Robins AFB, Ga., stateside home of the Air Force’s 17 JSTARS. “This system was originally meant to track tanks in a large-scale land battle and is now capable of supporting multiple small units across a large area with live intelligence data and command and control capabilities,” said Capt. Nathan Waters, 7th EACCS computer systems flight officer in charge.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.